smart phone

If you're having a hard time falling asleep, that sleep tracker on your wrist might be to blame.

And there's a name for this new kind of insomnia of the digital age: orthosomnia.

It's "when you just really become fixated on having this perfect sleep via tracker," said Seema Khosla, medical director at the North Dakota Center for Sleep. "And then you start worrying about it, and you wind up giving yourself insomnia."

More teens and young adults — particularly girls and young women — are reporting being depressed and anxious, compared with comparable numbers from the mid-2000s. Suicides are up too in that time period, most noticeably among girls ages 10 to 14.

These trends are the basis of a scientific controversy.

One hypothesis that has gotten a lot of traction is that with nearly every teen using a smartphone these days, digital media must take some of the blame for worsening mental health.

In the U.S., girls and boys are both big smartphone users.

That's not necessarily the case in the developing world, says a new report released this month by the nonprofit organization Girl Effect.

The "Real Girls, Real Lives, Connected" report surveyed more than 3,000 teenage girls and boys in 25 countries, with a focus on developing nations, including Nigeria, Bangladesh, India and Rwanda, through online questionnaires and in-person interviews.

If the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov were alive today, what would he say about smartphones? He might not think of them as phones at all, but instead as remarkable tools for understanding how technology can manipulate our brains.

For the first time, a generation of children is going through adolescence with smartphones ever-present. Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, has a name for these young people born between 1995 and 2012: "iGen."

She says members of this generation are physically safer than those who came before them. They drink less, they learn to drive later and they're holding off on having sex. But psychologically, she argues, they are far more vulnerable.

Dynamologic Solutions/flickr

Many of the things we use every day are being labeled “smart” - as in smart phone, smart watch, smart car, smart thermostat.

Could smartphones and other screens be decreasing the human attention span? Author Adam Alter thinks so.

"Ten years ago, before the iPad and iPhone were mainstream, the average person had an attention span of about 12 seconds," Alter tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. Now, he says, "research suggests that there's been a drop from 12 to eight seconds ... shorter than the attention of the average goldfish, which is nine seconds."

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Parking In Miami Beach Will Be Easier Now (Maybe)

May 23, 2014
Creative Commons

Every year, Memorial Day vacationers flock to Miami Beach for a whole lot of sun, sand -- and parking stress. Just in time to help reduce some of that hair pulling, the Miami Beach Parking Department has released two smartphone apps.

ParkMe helps drivers find nearby parking, and for some locations, how full a specific deck or lot is. The other, called Parkmobile,  lets drivers to pay for parking on their smartphone.

UNICEF Tap Project

With a new app, UNICEF provides one day of clean water to a child in need for every 10 minutes spent without touching your phone.

The app ranks Florida fifth in the country for total time spent without phones. California is in first place. This correlates with a recent Nielsen study that ranked South Florida as fifth in the country in smartphone usage.

By going to tap.unicefusa.org on a smartphone and then letting the phone rest without touching it, anyone in the U.S. can donate clean water.

http://www.catherinesteineradair.com

08/26/13 - Join us for Monday’s Topical Currents.  We discuss the digital revolution in regard to parents and children. We love our screens:  be they smartphones, laptops or tablets and worlds of communication, information and games they offer. But how does this affect the new generation of children . . . and parents?

amberalert.gov, Florida Today

Right now, it’s Amber Alerts for missing children and possible emergency messages from the president.

But the fact is -- as many South Floridians found out this weekend -- the government has found a way to co-opt your smart phone for its own purposes.